U.S. Rep. Greene decries U.S. Senate dropping dress code

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., waves to members of the media April 17 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., waves to members of the media April 17 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Comfort, fashion and decorum took center stage in Washington this week as U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Northwest Georgia, denounced as "disgraceful" the U.S. Senate dropping its policies on what is appropriate wear for members in the chamber.

The announcement came Monday from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, as Sen. John Fetterman, a Pennsylvania Democrat, and others opt for more casual attire.

Fetterman was known for wearing Carhartt hoodies, long baggy gym shorts and sneakers while he was serving as the state's lieutenant governor. He doesn't walk on the Senate floor in such clothing, instead voting from the doorway, which he did Monday evening, The Associated Press reported.

Walking to Monday evening's vote in a short-sleeved, button-down shirt and shorts, Fetterman said he wasn't sure if he'd take advantage of the new rules just yet.

"It's nice to have the option, but I'm going to plan to be using it sparingly and not really overusing it," he said, according to the AP.

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Many expressed anger at the change, calling it disrespectful.

"The Senate no longer enforcing a Dress code for Senators to appease Fetterman is disgraceful," Greene wrote in a social media post. "Dress code is one of society's standards that set etiquette and respect for our institutions.

"Stop lowering the bar!" the congresswoman added.

Fetterman pushed back, accusing Greene of a decorum violation of her own.

"Thankfully, the nation's lower chamber lives by a higher code of conduct: displaying ding-a-ling pics in public hearings."

That was a reference to Greene's action in July, when she displayed a placard showing sexually explicit pictures of Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, during a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing. The panel is investigating the younger Biden's business dealings. Greene's displaying of the explicit photos drew protests from Democrats on the panel.

Fetterman suffered a stroke last year while campaigning and was treated earlier this year for clinical depression. While serving in the Senate, he followed Senate tradition and wore suits. But after his clinical depression episode, Fetterman has often dressed in casual wear.

Schumer issued a statement to Axios, saying senators are able to "choose what they wear" on the Senate floor.

"I will continue to wear a suit," Schumer said in the statement.

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A late entry into the fray came Monday when Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, a former congressman, weighed in on social media.

"The U.S. Senate just eliminated its dress code because you got this guy from Pennsylvania — who's got a lot of problems ... he wears, like, sweatshirts and hoodies and shorts," the governor said. "We need to be lifting up our standards in this country, not dumbing down."

Again, Fetterman replied.

"I dress like he campaigns," the senator said.

Fetterman is hardly the only Carhartt fan in Congress. U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett, a Knoxville Republican, frequently sports a Carhartt coat in cooler weather. Burchett wears a suit on the House floor.

Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley was seen in jeans, boots and no tie Monday evening, the AP reported.

"Now I can vote from the Senate floor on Mondays," Hawley said, noting that he usually wears a suit and tie every other day.

CNN, citing a Gallup survey on business wear from earlier this year, reported only 3% of men said they wear business dress, such as suits, most days. That's down from 14% about a decade ago. The trend is the same for women with just 3% of them saying they normally wore a suit or business clothing to work in 2023.

Contact Andy Sher at asher@timesfreepress.com or 615-285-9480.

  photo  Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene, R-Ga., prepares to hold up explicit images and an airline confirmation made by Hunter Biden during a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing with IRS whistleblowers at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

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